By Tigrai Online
June 18, 2012
There is no clear official reason given by the government to why they plan to ban Skype and other internet VOIP services, however there are some clues dropped here and there by Ethiopian authorities. The first and most serious one is the ban is to protect national security. We are not sure what exactly means when they say protecting national security. The Ethiopian government should do a better job explaining to its citizens why it does certain things the way it does.
The second biggest reason and it is an obvious one, is the ban is likely targeting internet cafes where phone calls are almost free and they cut deep into the government owned Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation business.
The vague and secretive nature of how things are in Ethiopia combined with the weak public relations department of the government opened the flood gates of political attack on the EPRDF. This also gave the morally corrupted aimlessly wondering extremist Diaspora politicians’ another weapon against Ethiopia and its people.
According to be BBC’s Anne Waithera a Government Spokesperson told her using Skype was not illegal but using Skype fraudulently is.
"Skype is not illegal. What is illegal is using Skype for fraudulent activities such as making unauthorized calls," he said.
"Some people even come from other countries with their sim cards and operate here illegally.
"We need to have regulations that are standard in all countries. In any business you have to be licensed.
"This law is in the public interest and the right of individuals to communicate is protected by our constitution."
"This new law and the possibility that a Deep Packet Inspection system has been installed mark a turning point in the Ethiopian government's control of the Internet," Reporters without Borders said. "We fear that DPI will be misused for surveillance purposes by a government that already subjects the political opposition and privately-owned media to a great deal of harassment.